A little taste of Michigan

On Monday, the British English speaking teacher at my school asked if I could write or find a menu for a restaurant serving “typical American food.” I said sure, no problem… but then realized two seconds later that there is no typical American food. In the following class, I had a hard time answering the students’ questions about what Americans normally eat.

I told them there is no real American food. We eat everyone else’s food… Mexican, Greek, Thai, Chinese, Italian, etc. I’ve been trying to think of a restaurant that serves a little bit of everything, but I don’t know if a place like that really exists. So I finally settled on a Coney Island.

For those of you who are not familiar with Coney Island restaurants (which most likely means you are not from Michigan), think of the greasiest, fattiest food imaginable. Almost everything is fried. And the prices are so cheap, you can afford to eat 2,000 calories in one sitting alone. These restaurants are generally open 24 hours a day and you can order breakfast at any time of the day. In short, these places live up to the American stereotypes of unhealthy diets and problems with obesity.

Not only that, but they are incredibly patriotic, as the Gillie’s Coney Island site will show. I intend on using their menu in my classes. Sadly, I am now craving a greasy cheeseburger with chili cheese fries.

I can count more than a dozen Coney Islands around the Flint area, and I know there are even more in Detroit. I have so many memories of ordering a grilled cheese with a chocolate malt and chatting for hours with my co-workers at 1 in the morning. When I lived in Flint, there was a Coney Island a block from my house. There was a statue of a cow on the roof, which later was taken down and (I hope) to this day, remains in the parking lot.

Cheddar cheese. Places that are open 24 hours. Driving my car. I’m a little nostalgic today.

Nouvelle carte de séjour

I received notice from the préfecture that my new CDS is there! Except they’re closed on Wednesdays, so I can’t get it today. Of course. It should be a CDS visiteur that expires at the end of March. But we’ll see if they screwed that up… However, I need to do another changement du statut […]

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Sapeurs-Pompiers de Genève

The 118 Project. Swiss pompiers got fed up with so many people confusing their number (118) with the number for information (18something). They’ve been receiving about 20 calls a day for information instead of for fires. So they recorded a rap song and shot a music video to remind the Swiss that 118 is for […]

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The good and the bad.

I received my French driver’s license! David is going to start teaching me how to drive a manual car this weekend. I still need to learn French road signs and all that too. What is up with the weird priorité à droite with little side streets? Why don’t cars on the main road have the […]

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La Poste

I have a love/hate relationship with the post office in France. On the one hand, their trucks are a cute yellow color and the new cow stamps are so adorable. Seriously, there’s one cow singing “Ne meuuh quitte pas…” and another says “Oh, mais quel joli timbre!” (Ne me quitte pas means don’t leave me; […]

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Not a bad day(s)

After the relief of being “hired” as an assistant again, I suddenly got a stroke of ambition and started planning out the entire year’s worth of lessons. Since I’m teaching at a different school this year, I can use the same lessons as last year, but I want to improve them a little and add […]

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E-mail from the rectorat of Grenoble

Nous avons le plaisir de vous proposer un poste en tant qu’assistante de langue anglaise dans l’académie de Grenoble. That’s right, I got renewed!!!!!! Yay for having an income again! The only sucky thing is that it’s an hour from here by train. Plus my two schools are not close together, so I can’t walk […]

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Waiting Situations

Short update on how things never change here: Six weeks and no new carte de séjour or French driver’s license. Big surprise. Still no news from the rectorat either. I just have to wait until someone in Haute-Savoie quits or doesn’t show up, so that means another few weeks of waiting. At least my old […]

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Please enter the 21st century, France.

David did another concours test today so he can find a new job. He had to use the Minitel in order to take it! The Minitel. Which was popular in the 80′s. Apparently the direction du travail has not heard of the actual internet… Then I saw this dude on the news tonight. He’s Bernard […]

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De la part de Canaille

Salut ! Je m’appelle Canaille. Et je suis une vraie canaille. J’aime bien casser les vases et grimper sur les rideaux. Je fais pipi sur le lit tout le temps, mais malheureusement, ma mère ferme la porte de la chambre pour que je ne puisse plus entrer. J’adore gémir quand je sens la bouffe, quand […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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